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Phillip Ashley Rix at his kitchen and shop in Memphis.

Phillip Ashley Rix at his kitchen and shop in Memphis.

Photographer: Diana King for Bloomberg Pursuits

Black-Owned Chocolate Brand Wins Fans With Margarita, Truffle Flavors

Executives in search of memorable corporate gifts are turning to Memphis-based chocolatier Phillip Ashley.

Phillip Ashley Rix started out by selling his chocolates from the trunk of his four-door sedan. Now he’s got a partnership with one of the most legendary names in automotive history: In June, Rix was named the exclusive chocolatier of Cadillac.

The Phillip Ashley brand, based in Memphis, has built its success on unorthodox flavor pairings that—somehow, as if by magic—work. The effect on the tongue is always a bit of a surprise. When you bite into his Top Shelf Margarita chocolate, for example, you first taste the kosher salt that’s been dusted on the bottom, then a burst of aged tequila and lime, and the experience rounds out in the sweetness of white chocolate.